Springboks vs All Blacks (WC 2015)

It’s a massive rugby day today: World Cup Semi with the Springboks (South Africa) vs. the All Blacks (NZ) at Twickenham.

News 24 will have live updates.

And Twitter, as always, will be abuzz.

80 minutes of war between two historic great rivals.

I’ll tell you, my heart says: ‘Springboks’, but my head says another: ‘All Blacks’…

Oh well, all I’ll say then is: ‘Go Bokke!!’

UPDATE: Final scores: South Africa 18-20 New Zealand.



NZ Anglican Affiliation has Declined 17 Percent in the Past 7 Years

As age takes toll:

Anglican affiliation has declined 17 percent – from 554,925 to 459,771 – over the past seven years, according the latest census.

Partly this is because the average age of Anglicans is very high.

Last census there were 41,000 Anglicans over the age of 80, only slightly less than those under 10. But this still means that many Anglicans in 2006 have changed their affiliation since then – probably to “none”.

Meanwhile, for the first time in New Zealand history Roman Catholics outnumber Anglicans.

Catholics now number 492,324, although they too have declined slightly from the last census.

The big growth has been in those of “no religion,” up from 32.2% last census to 38.6% this census.

And when we add in those who objected to state their religion or who didn’t answer the question, a majority of New Zealanders (50.82%) now have no religious profession…

All other religions except Christianity have increased their share of the New Zealand population…

Read on here.



Soggy Anglicanism

Via Anglican Samizdat:

As if a cardboard cathedral were not a sufficiently apt metaphor for the state of western Anglicanism, we now have the soggy cardboard cathedral; nothing to worry about, though, “it’s just cosmetic”:

Sections of an innovative New Zealand cathedral being made from cardboard have gone soggy in the rain, but the project will still be completed next month, the Anglican Church said Friday.

The structure, which has walls made from cardboard tubes, is a temporary replacement for Christchurch’s Anglican cathedral, which was destroyed in a February 2011 earthquake that killed 185 people in New Zealand’s second largest city.


“It’s nothing to be worried about at all. The builders anticipated this would happen. It’s just cosmetic.”

This is the end result they are hoping for:



Gay Man Takes Church to Court for Refusing to Ordain Him

This was bound to happen.

A homosexual man is taking the Anglican Bishop of Auckland to the Human Rights Tribunal after being rejected for training as a priest.

A hearing begins today following a complaint from the man, who says he feels discriminated against because of his sexuality.

It is understood the man – who is in a sexual relationship with his partner – has wanted to enter the church’s training programme for priests for years.

But after applying to enter after years of study, he was rejected by the Bishop Ross Bay, who approves entrants.

Bishop Bay told One News last night that he was simply following the church’s doctrines.

The man was rejected “by reason of the defendant not being chaste in terms of canons of the Anglican Church,” the bishop said.

That means that anyone wanting to become ordained needs to be in what the Anglican Church deems to be a chaste relationship – a marriage between a man and a woman or committed to a life of celibacy.

In a statement to the tribunal, the complainant says he “felt totally humiliated that I had spent six years of my life in study, for a process that I was not permitted to enter because I was a gay man and in a relationship”.

“My humiliation and disappointment continue to this day.”

He also claims that had he been unmarried but in a heterosexual relationship, he would have been allowed to train as a priest.

However, it is understood that is not the case and that Bishop Bay has rejected people in such relationships in the past.

A spokesman for the Anglican diocese of Auckland, Jayson Rhodes, said he could not get into details of the case.

“The best way for both sides of this to be heard is before the tribunal, rather than through the media.”



Priest Collapses, Dies at Altar During Service

In Napier, New Zealand.

Hundreds of parishioners watched in shock as a Catholic priest died at the altar during mass, moments after baptising a baby.

Napier’s longest-serving priest, Monsignor Timothy Francis Hannigan, 81, collapsed at the altar during communion at St Patrick’s Catholic Church on Sunday.

A doctor and nurses in the packed church rushed to help the popular priest when he slumped to the ground about 9.30am, but he died by the altar of the church where he had served for more than 30 years.

“It’s one thing for a priest to die in a church, but it’s a whole other thing for him to die during communion,” a parishioner who did not wish to be named said yesterday.

The congregation continued to pray as his body was taken away. Some also recited a rosary.

Former St Patrick’s parish priest Father Paul Kerridge said Monsignor Hannigan had taken mass as usual, and had just finished baptising a baby and blessing the parents when he fell to the floor.

It was believed he died after a cardiac arrest.

The energetic priest had not shown any previous signs of illness, and was fine during the sermon, Father Kerridge said.

His loss would be keenly felt.

“I would say everyone in the parish would consider him their next of kin. He was like a brother.”

Parishioner Ross Allan said those who were there were shocked by what they saw unfolding.

“One moment he had baptised a child … then the next moment there was all this commotion up the front of the church. It was a very unusual situation.”

Monsignor Hannigan was a pillar of the community who did everything he could to help those in need, including the homeless who showed up on his doorstep, Allan said.

Fellow parishioner and retired Napier dentist David Marshall said church members were comforted by the fact that Monsignor Hannigan did not have to suffer a long illness.

He died doing what he did best, which was saying mass for his parish family – which I think is the greatest gift a priest could have…”

‘He died doing what he did best…’

Eternal rest, grant unto him O Lord and may perpetual light shine upon him.



New Zealand Ad: Pope Blesses Gay Couple

In the New Zealand Herald:

A billboard depicting Pope Benedict XVI blessing the marriage of a male couple is unlikely to cause widespread offence, the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled.

The authority dismissed complaints against the Powershop billboard by four complainants.

The four-and-a-half storey billboard was part of a campaign by Powershop, with the slogan “Same Power, Different Attitude”.

The signs were put up last month in central Auckland and Wellington.

One complainant, B Pender, said the billboard offended him as a Christian.

“It is attempting to imply that the Catholic Church and The Vatican condone same sex marriage despite no formal communication of said claim.”

Other complaints to the authority mirrored that view and said the advertisement mocked the Catholic religion.

The authority’s chairman Jenny Robson said the advertisement was referring to the issue of the same-sex marriage bill that was before Parliament and was legislation the Catholic Church opposed.

The electricity company used irony and humour, in keeping with Powershop’s same power, different attitude campaign, she said.

Ms Robson said she acknowledged the offence caused to the complainants, but the billboard did not reach the threshold to be said to cause widespread offence in light of prevailing community standards.

“Neither did it breach the due sense of responsibility to consumers and society.”

Powershop chief executive Ari Sargent welcomed today’s decision.

“It kind of reflects the feedback that we’ve got from the general public – yes, there was some vocal opposition but, by in large, people saw it for what it was and didn’t find it particularly offensive.”

Yes, inoffensive only to the godless…